The Entrance To Grace

Greetings,

I hope you are all well. I have been home for Thanksgiving, family birthdays, and lots of gopa /opa time with grand kids. Life is good! It was great to be in my home church yesterday. Our children interviewed Bonnie and I on experiences in our lives as parents. It was fun.

The book of 1 John is written by the apostle John to the church when he was an older man. There is some controversy as to how old he was, but he was an older man. He was somewhere between 60 and 80 years old when he wrote this letter to his church community – his church family. He was letting them know that the true evidence of Christ in them was the love of Christ through them to one another. There was something supernatural that had happened in their hearts. It wasn’t just a discipline of learning to love one another. John was writing this letter to say that it becomes obvious when Christ works in the heart of believers. It was a testimony of God’s mercy and grace!

I have often thought that it would be great to be the apostle John. He was called the beloved, the one that Jesus loved. He died a natural death. The other apostles were executed in some manner, but John died of natural causes. Sometimes we may think that John had it easier, but that is not true. John was boiled in oil, yet he did not die! When I was a young man in my 20’s I fell asleep on a raft on a lake in the hot sun. I found out that sleeping on a lake on a raft was not good for a person with the light complexion like mine. I ended up with some nerve damage on my arms from the sun burn I received that day. I still itch to this day from exposure to the sun during the summer months. I am now 61 and it is just now getting better. Can you imagine the old man John who was boiled in oil? He likely suffered the consequences of his suffering. We probably would have noticed him when he walked into the room. Being boiled in oil had to have left its tattoo. He no doubt bore the marks of his suffering. It would be clear that he had gone through some things, but his number one message was love. He wasn’t distracted by the things he had gone through. He was attracted to his knowledge of the love of Christ. This was his message to the church and the foundation for addressing them as children, young men, and fathers.

1 John 2: 12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13 I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

When I think of cultures in the world I naturally know they consist of children, young adults, and older people. We tend to think that we were at one stage of development, we progress to the next stage of development, and one day we arrive at the fullness of maturity. That is the way it is in human cultures. I want to propose that in the culture of the kingdom of heaven it is different. There is a beginning of little children, but I am also going to propose that being a little child is something we must always be in our hearts. I have been a believer for over 43 years. There is a progression in my maturity, but each stage of  progression is also a constant reality in my heart in various measures. At one point, I was a little child and then I got busy growing up. I battled against some things to become a strong man of God. I got to a stage of being a father, but now I have been a father for some time and I am discovering some mysteries of the kingdom of God. Overcoming is not a strength of the flesh. It is a testimony of God in our lives. The only way we can experience that testimony of overcoming, the only way we can experience it and not become hard or fleshly strong, is to stay childlike in our hearts.

The testimony of being children in our hearts is verified in the word of John to little children when he said, I write to you little children because your sins are forgiven. I write to you little children because you have known the Father.

When Jesus comes into our lives the first thing we should know is that our sins are forgiven and we have a Father who loves us. That is the exit from the old kingdom and the entrance to the new. It is a testimony of mercy and it is the only judgment that frees me from the stronghold of the law. My sins are forgiven and I have a Father who loves me! Jesus said that unless each of us lose our life we cannot find it. We must lay it down, so we can pick it up. We lose our lives to save them. We must leave our old life and enter our new life, but then we must learn to live in the testimony of our new life. Many Christians leave their old life, enter their new life, and then they live by the rules of the old life. What were the rules of the old life? The old life was a life administrated by a knowledge of good and a knowledge of evil. The re-occuring theme of the old life is one that recites, I am bad I am trying to be good. It was always about knowing the rules. How do I act? What do I do? People in the world don’t know God, thus they look for the most practical and passionate ways of doing what they want to do. They seek to justify their own way of living. That kind of living ends up being less than life. There is a Scripture that says that everyone sins, falls short of the mark, and fails to live in the glory of God. They fall short of the glory of God. The wage, or consequence, of sin is death. The result of sin is death. The fruit of sin is death. God does not kill sinners. Sin kills sinners. The judge of sin is sin. When we disconnect from our life source we die. The life source does not kill us for being disconnected, we die because we are disconnected. The first thing that God wants us to know and to experience, the constant and increasing thing that God wants us to know and to experience, is a place of connection to Him. I have a Father who loves me and my sins are forgiven.

As I travel the nations and I look at what God is doing in the congregations of His church and I listen to the sound of what the Holy Spirit is saying in the lives of people, I hear a consistent theme. I observe it as I go to different congregations. I hear it as I tune into different ministries via the internet. I hear it in the songs of worship music in the various parts of the world. The fresh, newest sound I hear is one that says, Your sins are forgive, you have a Father who loves you! I hear words that express that this is a time for us to understand the grace of God. You can go on the internet and search out Christian books and find many books on the topic of grace. It is a common word in the move of God’s Spirit. God wants us to know about grace, but the sound that I hear is, You have a Father who loves you and your sins are forgiven. We are no longer slaves to fear, we are children of God. This is all true. He split the sea so I could walk right through it!  This is the entrance to grace, but all of that is the sound of mercy!  It is the sound of the exit from the old kingdom and the entrance into the new. I love it. It should and will increase. I am coming into my 44th year of knowing Christ and I should know that I am a child of God. There is no more shame! There is no more condemnation! It is wonderful, but it is the sound of mercy that leads us to the power of God’s grace. I will continue next week to address the partnership of mercy and grace in the culture of a community of Christ. Perhaps we are just knocking on the door to understand the testimony of God’s life-transforming grace in our lives. Grace always begins with receiving mercy!

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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Honor What is Given

Greetings;

Today I am in Bulgaria. I have had a fantastic weekend with people who are hungry and willing to embrace all that God wants to give. It is great to see what God is doing in His family around the world. The Holy Spirit is truly at work in empowering the family of God to embrace the transformations that come by God’s presence. I look forward to seeing what God is going to do to further reveal His people in the earth. God’s grace is sufficient to transform us into all that He has in mind in order to be seen as the people of God in the earth.

I have been writing on a culture of honor in the family of God. Our honor is first to God, for He is the One who brings salvation and the liberty of life in every day and in every way. Secondly, as the likeness and the image of God our Father, we have a need to worship Him. We don’t worship Him to get His blessing. We worship Him to be like Him. When we worship Him it changes our world. Thirdly, we are a family of purpose in this world. We bear God’s family name and we must never take His name in vain. We honor His character, nature, way, power, and authority in all that we are and do. He is a holy God and we are His holy people. Fourthly, we are a place where God rests in this world. Every aspect and every season of our lives begins with God’s presence in and with us. It is with a foundation of His presence that we face every new measure of destiny in our lives. Fifthly, we must honor our family inheritance. We must become an expression of true community with a generational manifestation of the destiny of our family name. Each generations increases in the glory of who God is. Sixthly, we must show honor in our relationships with one another. Covenant relationships are not about getting; they are about giving life to another because we value who another is. Each of us are a one and only individual that expresses God’s life in this world. When we understand the value of one, we give our lives to give life to another for the sake of something greater in this world. Seventh, a value for life is a part of a culture of honor and we honor the expression of life that each and every one is. For this reason, God gave His only begotten Son to die as the price of value for each and every child of God! We are not just one in seven billion. Each of us are a one and only one. This is your value and this is the value of your neighbor. It can only be understood in a culture of honor that knows that each and every one has been born to reveal something of the likeness and image of their heavenly Father in this world. Eighth, we must show honor for the possessions of another. Those in a culture of honor must give honor to what was given to each one. There is no room for jealousy for God has given a measure to each of us for the glory of His name. A ninth value in a culture of honor is in our protection of the reputation of one another. We must never lie or even speak our perceived understanding of the truth in a way that damages the reputation of another human being. The tenth aspect in a culture of honor is one of honoring your neighbor’s measure of rule. We must honor the authority given to another.

Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

This is different than just possessions. Seeking to take what belongs to someone else so it will be yours is steeling. That is dishonoring the possessions of someone else and honoring each one’s possessions is part of a culture of honor. This honor in Exodus 20, verse 17 has to do with boundaries, authority, and influence. In a culture of honor, we must recognize boundaries. We cannot be jealous of what belongs within the boundaries of someone else’s sphere of authority. God wants each of us to know who we are. Honor is giving real value to who someone else is and then recognizing that with our attitudes and actions. In a culture of honor, we must also honor ourselves for who we are and others for who they are. Each of us makes a great self, and a terrible someone else. We are best at doing what we want to do in our hearts and not so good at simply doing what we are told. We must discover the desires in our hearts that come from God. It is important to discover the God-given desires in our hearts that enable us to walk in the boundaries, authority, and influence of who we are meant to be.

When we discover the desire to do what we should be doing in life, we will be good at it. This is God’s plan for our lives. We are each given a different measure of rule in life. We must each recognize our responsibilities in our lives. Bonnie and I have been married for over 39 years. As her husband I should desire to love her with all of my heart, all my soul, and all my life. There are times where I am tempted to not love her in some way. If I embrace that temptation in any way, I am being irresponsible in my God-given boundary, authority, and influence as her husband. There can never be a moment in my life where I question whether I should be her husband or not. I am Bonnie Hanson’s husband. I have to choose to position myself before God in a way that He can give me desires in my heart that make me the husband that Bonnie needs me to be. This is true for every area of responsibility in my life. I am Jonathan, Aaron, and Joanna Hanson’s dad. I am grandpa to Aubrey, London, Kaden, and Zaria Hanson. I am a son of God. I am a man of God. I own a pickup truck. I own a house. When my house or my truck are in need of repair I am responsible to repair them. I am responsible to be all that I am in life. I have been chosen by God to travel to the nations. I have to do extensive travel. While traveling I most often fly in coach class. I do not fly in first or business class often, but I see people there. I even get an upgrade every now and then because of the number of miles I fly each year. When I enter an airplane I sometimes walk through the business class section, but I have to rejoice in my seat or I will sit for ten hours on a flight in misery because of my attitude. I cannot be jealous of the person in business class. If I don’t accept my place of sitting I first of all dishonor me and secondly I dishonor the little old lady that I am sitting next to on that flight. What makes me better than her?

Boundaries, spheres of influence, and what has been given to you in life are a God’s given responsibility of honor. We must each be responsible in the boundaries of our lives. If we despise who we are and we want to be someone else, the first person we dishonor is ourselves. If we are jealous of someone else’s wife, we first dishonor ourselves and secondly our wife. If we desire someone else’s life, we dishonor ourselves and we dishonor them.

We must never be jealous of another person’s life. There is a price to pay for living in every neighborhood. What God expects of me is not the same as what He expects of you. What He expects of you is not the same as what He expects of someone else. He expects each of us to appreciate the boundaries that have been given to us in life. We must each be responsible with what has been given to us. We must each appreciate the boundaries that have been given to us. It is not just the things we own, but the influence of your life. This includes our family, our home, our business, our ministry, or whatever we have been given responsibility for in life. A person of great wealth has to be responsible with the wealth that has been given to them. Each of us must pay the price required to live in the boundaries given to us by God.

What has been given to you is not what has been given to another. You don’t want to covet what has been given to another, because you are not able to be responsible with what is theirs. It is a violation of the boundary, authority, and influence of your life to desire the life of another. This is despising what has been given to yourself.

We must each be faithful with what has been given to us. In the world we are taught that bigger is better than smaller, faster is more important than slow, rich is better than poor, and so forth. In the realities of the cultures of heaven, bigger is not better than smaller unless you are supposed to be bigger. Sometimes those who are smaller can reach those who are bigger cannot.

When God says to not covet what your neighbor, He is simply saying don’t dishonor yourself. Don’t dishonor what has been given to you. It is not real to desire what has been given to someone else. You cannot handle their measure of responsibility, big or small. You can only handle what has been given to you and what has been given to you is meant to be a boundary, an authority, and an influence of life in this world. It is about responsibility before God and men. In a culture of honor, we must each tend to our own measure. No one has the same measure of influence, but the measure of influence given to each is for the sake of the big picture of humanity and the testimony and purposes of God in life.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

 

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Reputations and Community

Greetings,

Today I am in Spain after a great weekend in Utrecht, Netherlands. We did healing activation and ministry over the weekend and saw Holy Spirit touch many people with the love of God and His supernatural touch. Thank you God for your kindness and your great love! We your people love you!

Last week I began to address the value of honoring the reputation of others. We must never lie about another person, but we must also be careful how we tell our version of the truth or our perception of the truth. The reputation of a person is the reputation of the likes and image of God in human form.

We must always seek to cover the sins of another, but sometimes the sins of another can damage the reputation of the whole community or a portion of that community. If someone sins to the degree that they are harming the body and it is destroying the reputation of the body, we are to appeal to them in the hope of their turning towards life. At times we must set boundaries to protect the members of our household and we also seek to restore members when they are caught up in some destructive force. When a family member is in sin we seek to cover, restore, and renew them into the community of life. In honoring the reputation of fallen family member we make our appeal, if they don’t hear it we treat them like a sinner and a tax collector. We might eat with them, but we don’t live in their deception with them. We don’t eat with them to become like them. We don’t entertain their criticisms so we too become critical. We are open to them becoming part of us, but we don’t become part of them. This is how we treat sinners.

We must honor the reputations of others. We are never to bear false witness; even if it is based upon something true. If there is a true witness towards some destructive behavior on their part, we make a clear boundary of protection for the community of God. We set a boundary, but the boundary always has a way back to restoration and healing. The boundary can be a closed and locked door, but there is a way to obtain the key that unlocks the door to restoration. Our objective is always to steer things towards the direction of life.

I have had people that damaged reputations. They damaged the church bad. People would call me about them. I would be honest and say, “I don’t know where that person is at in their life at this time, because I am not presently in relationship with them. Many years ago I was in a conflict with them so I would suggest you be wise in your connection. People can change. If this person hasn’t changed you might want to be cautious in your connections.” I am not trying to damage that person’s reputation in doing that. I am trying to protect someone I know from falling into the same trap I found myself in. All decisions in life must move toward protecting life and giving life. Do I need to say anything? Are they going to be ok? If I am a responsible leader and another leader wants to know something about someone who took a 100 people out of my church I may give a caution. What will produce life? What will protect life? The issue is protecting life. In a community of Christ we always seek to honor reputations.

In a culture of honor there are various levels of relationship. My wife knows that no one person can be your best friend. She says that when ladies come to her and want to be her best friend she tells them that she has many best friends. In the area of old movies this is my best friend. When I go shopping this is my best friend. When it comes to understanding things in this area, this lady is my best friend. She says that best friends come in pieces. Relationships with each and every person is different. If you have only one friend you limit the depth of relationships. When there is a problem you always go to a person out of relationship, not from a place of law. Relationships are about life; they are not about rule.

When there is a problem in a community you go to a relationship, not to a law. This is part of a culture of honor. Even if we end up losing the connection in relationship that we once had with someone, we don’t seek to damage them overtly. We are to treat them like sinners and tax collectors. We understand they are takes and not givers in their hearts. We must remain givers in our own hearts. We don’t seek to damage sinners in the community for being sinners. When someone breaks relationship for the sake of sin we treat them like sinners. We don’t condemn them, nor do we condone them. We don’t put the same righteous expectations upon them that we did in the past, nor do we expect them to act like us. We don’t share covenant with them. We might have a dinner with them and invite them to have a relationship with God, but we don’t look to be confrontational. We don’t look to listen to their way of life and seek to emulate it ourselves. We don’t entertain their criticisms so we can also become critical. We are always open for them to be part of us, but if they don’t allow us to be a part of their lives in a covenant way, we treat them as people who are simply not part of our community of intimacy. I have had people who damaged the church bad and I had to mark them, but in a culture of honor I must always be open for reconnection, redemption, healing, and restoration unto life.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #honor, #newcovenant, #peopleofGod | 2 Comments

Honor Another’s Reputation

Greetings,

It was good to be home in Washington this weekend. Pastor Jonathan was away, so I was blessed to speak at Alife. God has blessed me with wonderful connections around the world, but my church community at home is the letter of credentials to the message of my life. Thank you Alife for being the family of God that represents the present grace of God in the earth. I am a blessed to be a part of a local church community filled with life!

Today I am addressing a ninth attribute of a culture of honor in a community of Christ. The ninth value in a culture is one of protecting the reputation of another. Once again, these values are brought about by a supernatural change of God in our hearts and minds. Societies of the world can only at best seek to emulate or legislate these attributes, but in a culture of honor these things must become part of the substance of our character. We cannot expect the people of the world or the societies of the world to be able to embrace these values, but we can demonstrate what they look like by being an expression of the community of Christ in the earth. We cannot judge those who do not walk in these values, we can only reveal these values in our own lives and invite others to experience the life-changing transformation of Christ within their own hearts that brings these things to a true reality. We can judge that to violate these values will bring about death and dysfunction in the societies of the world, but the violation of these values has already brought judgment to the societies of the world. By demonstrating the supernatural change empowered by God’s grace in our own lives we will shine like a light to welcome those bound to the judgment of dysfunction and death to the judgment of God’s mercy and the empowerment of His grace that can change them as well.  If these things are merely commands they can only control a society. This can have a value, but its only value is to reveal the need for true change of hearts and minds that can only happen by the grace of God in Christ. Outside of Christ law is a tutor that leads us to the true change that can only be found in Christ. This is also true for the human conscience apart from Christ.

Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

This is not a commandment. It is a value. We must do everything we can to protect another’s reputation. We can easily see that this value sets the boundary of telling the truth. We must never lie about another human being. We must never lie, but we must also be careful in how we present the truth, or our perceived version of the truth. Love covers a multitude of sins and we must always seek to speak the truth in love. Just speaking the perceived facts about another person is not speaking the truth in love. Just covering up the iniquities of another is not speaking the truth either. When we speak the truth about another we must seek to speak in a way that invites life.  Love does everything it can to protect the reputation of another. In the book of Jude, it says that when people speak bad about sent authority or about one another they do so because they don’t understand who another is. They don’t value relationships; they don’t value life. Jude says that when they do this they are like spots and blemishes among us. They want to focus on problems. Instead of being a part of the family they become a problem. They speak evil based on things that they think are true naturally or even things that are true about another naturally. My wife and I have been married for over 39 years. I know things about my wife that I will never tell you and she knows things about me that she will never tell you, because we will not dishonor one another. We will not damage one another’s reputations. Some things I would say would be things she would do that she doesn’t do. Some things she does I may think are wrong, but they might not be wrong. It is my perception. This would also be true from her perspective towards me. Some things she thinks about me are wrong, might be wrong and they might not be. We will never publicly say something that will damage one another. If we were to do so, we would quickly search for the grace of God to bring healing to one another. My wife and I have this down pretty good. We cover one another’s reputation. It becomes harder as the family grows. It is easy for me to protect the reputation of my immediate family, but when neighbors move into the neighborhood I might tell someone they did something wrong. God sees everyone in the same way I see my immediate family. I would protect the reputation of my immediate family members. I have found in life that good people have bad problems. I have discovered that good people sometimes do bad things. As a grandpa, I have no problem changing the diapers of my grandchildren. I don’t complain, because I am grandpa and I love them. Where love lives anything can be done. I am an anointed diaper changer! I can clean the bottoms of my grandchildren with an anointing and I can make it an experience of life. I want people to feel better about life and about themselves because I am in their lives. I want people to have a positive expectation about me. I don’t go around my community telling everyone about what my grandchildren’s bottoms look like. You thought these were holy children! You won’t believe this. I have discovered that poop comes out their bottoms. Sometimes it really stinks! I don’t do that. I protect their reputations. I do that for family.

We must value one another’s reputation. We are never justified in saying things about one another simply because they are naturally true or we think they are naturally true. When we wound the reputation of someone else we wound our own reputation. We must always do everything we can to protect another’s reputation.

I have discovered that I don’t just go to churches to preach. I have found that some churches I am in relationship with have problems that become my problems. I have to speak wisdom. I have to help leaders and congregations make decisions that are life-giving and not reputation damaging. When we deal with issues in people’s lives, the answer is not what the word requires us to do. We have preconceived ideas as to what the word means. Matthew, chapter 18 says that if a brother is found in sin we are to go to them and try to help them hear us. If they don’t hear us we are to bring mature leaders with us in our appeal to them. If they don’t listen, we can have the church try to reach them. The church is those they are in relationship with. It is not just a crowd of people who confess to be Christians. It is people in community together. These are people who love them. The idea is to help the person, not to judge them.  If they don’t listen treat them like sinners and tax collectors. How do you treat sinners and tax collectors? Do you hate them? Do you try to damage them? Do you attempt to destroy their reputation in the community? Do you damage the reputation of your sinner community by telling everyone how bad sinners sin? You know they are sinners. Do you judge dogs for barking? Do you judge animals for acting like animals? Do you judge sinners for sinning? Sinners sin! When someone acts like a sinner you treat them as one. You don’t put righteous expectations upon them. You don’t share covenant with them. You might have a dinner and invite them to have a relationship with God, but you don’t participate with them in their sin. You don’t seek to be confrontational with sinners. You simply don’t go their way. You invite them to follow you. Sinners and tax collectors liked to be with Jesus. Jesus ate with them, but He didn’t live with them. He walked off and some sinners followed Him. He didn’t damage the reputation of a sinner; their reputation was already damaged.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #honor, #newcovenant, #peopleofGod | 1 Comment

Honor Your Neighbor’s Possessions

Greetings,

I have just finished a wonderfully fruitful week in Angola. The people are hungry and it is time for another level of God’s grace to work among His people here. I spend my time hear teaching on Hearing God’s Voice. My book Hearing The Voice has been translated into the Portuguese language and we hope to have it in Luanda, Angola by the first of 2017. We are going to continue the process of equipping and training the people here in the New Covenant life of Christ and the testimony of the power of His grace that can change every world.

Let me continue again today with addressing the values found in a culture of honor. The community of God is a culture that honors God and honors each and every human life. We cannot be like the kingdoms of the world. We must be a witness of the kingdom of God to the kingdoms of this word. Moses wrote in the Torah values that looked like commandments of God, but these things are really the attributes of the character, nature, and way of a true community of God.

Exodus 20:15 You shall not steel.

A community of God respects and values everything that belongs to another. We value what belongs to someone else. In a culture of honor, we understand that everyone has possessions. Those possessions belong to those who possess them. Those possessions are treasures and gifts given as a stewardship to each one. These are not just physical things. Have you ever been around happy people? They are always happy. Some days you may not be happy at all and you meet one of those happy people. You get angry because they are happy. You get an attitude towards their happiness and you don’t want them to be so happy. They don’t have a right to be so happy. If we are honest we will have to admit that we want to rob them of their joy. That is called steeling their possession. What about if someone is in the process of grieving? There is a time to grieve. No one should remain in grieving, but we must all know how to grieve. Some people don’t understand grieving and in inappropriate times they try to rob people of grieving.

Grief should never possess you, but there are times when you need to possess grief. I have lost loved ones and when a loved one dies God wants to give you the gift of being able to properly grieve without grief possessing you. Do you know how to cry? Some people don’t honor that and they try to make grieving people be happy. We must be careful that we don’t seek to steel another person’s possessions.

I remember when I transitioned the church to my son. I was fifty-five years old, driving a fairly nice vehicle and I had to sell my vehicle to pay my bills. I then had to drive an older vehicle. It was a small pickup truck that was over twenty years old. I had to act like a successful leader in the community, but drive my older vehicle.  Other pastors and leaders were driving their new vehicles and I was driving my old one. It is not honorable for me to be envious of those who drive better vehicles. I was simply in a season of having to be responsible for an older vehicle. I had to know how to be abundant with little and abundant with much. Let’s say I was given a new BMW and a friend of mine who is my age comes and they are driving an older vehicle with dents and blemishes. It would be dishonorable for me to look at my friend’s possessions as less than mine. If I begin to judge him thinking he is not doing as good as me is not honorable. Seeking to take or to destroy what another has is not part of a culture of honor.

Why does God give us possessions? God gives us things so that we will possess them. So we will own them. He doesn’t give us things so they will own us. He doesn’t want us to be slaves to the things we possess. He gives us possessions so those things will serve us in our service. I have often heard it said that God has stored the riches of the wicked for the righteous. This is a Scriptural statement, but it is very often presented with a wrong mindset by those who are Christians. Bill Gates is a wealthy person. He is a person that people will recognize as someone who is worth a lot of money. He is wealthier than many nations. If I say, that is so terrible. That is the problem with the world. The Bill Gates of the world have the wealth of the world. That is so wrong. He should give that wealth to the poor. What a greedy person. What a wrong system we have. That kind of thinking is proving that I am not able to possess what he possesses. I am not able to manage what he has because I am not happy with what I have. I am trying to destroy his ability to possess things, because I am not possessing what has been given to me.

Not too long ago I was in a conversation with a young person who was being taught in college that rich people are bad. Her attitude was that rich people are bad people. She said, poor people are better at handling money than rich people. I said to her, that’s why poor people have so much money isn’t it? If poor people handle money better than rich people, why don’t they have the money?

Rich people handle money better than poor people, but they don’t necessarily handle life better than poor people. Money is not the greatest wealth, but it is a measure of it. I have possessions. I have friendships that are a great treasure in my life. I must take care not to starve when I am with them. I must seek to give them the value of a friend in order to keep them as friends in my life. Sometimes my wealth is my friendships. I find myself in many nations and sometimes I don’t have any foreign currency, but I have never gone without food. My friends buy me food. Some poor people could be upset with me because I eat lunch and they don’t. They might label me as wicked because I have friends that buy me lunch. Those that don’t have often judge those that have based upon their own needs. Possessions are part of a culture of honor. Friendship is a possession, but it is entrusted to those who can possess it. I have friends because I have made myself friendly. It is part of my wealth.

We don’t need to be jealous of anyone in their possessions, but to share our possessions with others. The riches for the heathen stored up for the saints is not their money given to us. We would likely waist it and cause it to dwindle to the measure we can handle. I think the true riches of the world is the world coming to Christ and brining their skill, wisdom, and ability to handle the possessions of the world for the purpose of God’s kingdom in the earth. They know how to handle money, but they need to come in to the kingdom of God to handle true riches. We are never jealous of what someone else possesses. If what they have is given to us we would probably lose it because we don’t know how to handle it. Redistribution of the wealth does not make the world wealthy; it makes everyone poor.

Maybe you have an ability to sing. In our congregation we have those who have an ability to sing. We have some people who have wanted to be on the worship team. They could open their mouths and make a noise, but they could not sing. When I was honest with them and told them they could not sing, they were angry. They didn’t possess the ability to sing. I have had many worship leaders and some have been better at some things than others. Some singers on the worship team were better singers than the leaders, but they weren’t better leaders. In a culture of honor, you have to honor what was given to you and what was given to others. There is no room for jealousy for God has given a measure to each of us for the glory of His name.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #honor, #newcovenant, #peopleofGod, 2016 | Leave a comment

Relationships Are About Giving

Greetings,

Last week I was in Spain where we had a fantastic gathering of pastors and leaders for our RIM connection. God showed up in a BIG way and we were all very blessed. There were 30 adults and some additional family. It was an intimate, life-filled time with one another and with a very tangible presence of the Holy Spirit. I have now started here in Angola, Africa in training some wonderful hungry men and women in Hearing God’s Voice. Did a radio program yesterday, morning services, and started our training on Hearing God. It is going to be a full and fruitful week.

Last week I began to address the value of relationship in a culture of honor. Covenant relationships are not about getting; they are about giving life to another because you value who another is. Each of us are a one and only and when we understand the value of each one we give our lives to one for the sake of something greater in this world.

Relationships are not about our needs being met, they are about finding God-ordained, God-purposed, and God-fulfilling lives of destiny that bear the fruit of relationship in the generations beyond our lives. Even in marriage, the relationship of marriage is not merely about finding love that fulfills my needs, whether those needs be legitimate or perceived to be legitimate in their nature. Relationships bear the fruit of life beyond the life of that relationship.

God loves all people. He even loves us when we become confused in our thinking. God loves us, but He hates our deceptions. It is unrighteousness and wickedness that surpasses the truth with its lie. This is not people, but the traps that cause people to be bound to a life.

Romans 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 

God does not hate homosexuality because of homosexuality. He hates homosexuality in the same way He hates fornication. He doesn’t hate homosexuals or fornicators. He hates the thing that destroys true covenant relationship that bear the fruit of relationship into the generations beyond their lives. In the same way, God hates someone going from church, to church, to church, to church to satisfy their personal needs. In the same way, He hates someone going from marriage, to marriage, to marriage, to marriage to meet their own needs. In the same way, He hates taking human beings and transforming them into a picture, looking at the picture and taking, taking, taking, taking. Embracing pornography is embracing a belief that destroys the value of relationship. It transforms what should be found in a covenant of relationship into something that meets the selfish needs of personal flesh. It sets a foundation in the hearts and minds of people that true relationship is meant to satisfy the needs of our flesh, our soul, or even the needs of our own spirit. The motive and agenda in such things is one of personal gratification. It is a distain and a destructive force to covenant relationships. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we enter into relationships for wrong reasons and then God brings a revelation and turns it into right reasons.  In reality we probably all enter into relationships for wrong reasons and in the midst of the journey God gives a revelation of what the relationship really is. It usually comes after we have hurt one another for a while. When it becomes impossible God says, “Good, I am glad it is impossible. It is about time you realize how valuable relationship really is.”

You were not born to receive the blessing of love that comes from another. You were not born to simply be satisfied by some form of love that touches your emotions or meets some physical need. You were born to give your life to someone else and for someone else. Just like when you have a revelation of who God is and you worship Him, He wants you to have a revelation of what life is and then He wants you to give your life to one. When you give your life to one you begin to understand that the value of life is one and only. This is called marriage and in marriage the foundation for a family is established. The fruit of that family will understand the value of ‘one’ divinely joined by God in life.

A revelation of relationship and marriage is a perfect example of the value of ‘one’, but it is not limited to marriage. We all come from human cultures that do not have the value of one. People in the world are not bad people; they are confused people. In the cultures of the world we become confused. We lack a revelation of relationship, thinking that relationship is something we get from others. We turn relationship into shopping, like shopping for new clothes. In America we even have the ability to try clothes on before we buy them. This ‘need oriented’ and ‘self-satisfaction’ thinking has even entered into our relationships with people. we try human beings before we buy them. How do we know they will meet our needs unless we try them out first? We enter into relationship where the other is meeting our needs. We do that for a few months or a few years until one day our needs are not being met, so like an old piece of clothing we give it away to some charity organization or we simply donate it to someone on the street. Then we reason, “It is a good thing we didn’t get married.” “It is a good thing we didn’t make covenant because we weren’t really meant for one another.” This is the way of the cultures of the world.

This kind of thinking affects our commitments in and as the church. We try this church out or that church out, saying God told us to go there. After a while we begin to reason that God sent us there, but God didn’t really mean go there. He meant, “go there and get your needs met ­– try it out. See if it will meet your needs. How do you know if these people are the people who will meet your needs unless you try them out? How do you know this brother or even this pastor is any good unless you try them out?” Then one day, who the pastor is or who some other member of the community is reveals something in you that is a challenge to who you are and now you decide that you are more valuable than that other person is. You decide that he or she is not worthy of your relationship, so you begin to think about going to another family. You stay in the family, but you listen to messages from another family and you compare what you are hearing in that family with this family. When you do this you invite another vision, thus you create di-vision. You are committing adultery. You are thinking about it. You are practicing adultery and your relationship is being buried in the ground of natural understanding.

My wife and I have been married for more than 39 years. We do not have a written law of you shall not commit adultery. No, every year we grow as givers. I am becoming more like her and she is becoming more like me and neither of us are the same as we were when we got married. The children in our family were born knowing the value of relationship. They have watched their parents and not all has been easy, but always the final decision is we give to the other. I remember when my wife and I were first married. We would get into a debate and of course I was right and she was wrong (ha, ha). Sometimes I was right. Sometimes I would walk out the door, because I didn’t want to be angry. I am so glad that God gave me the grace to hear Him. The moment I walked out the door God would say, “I want you to go back and apologize to your wife.” And I would say, “Yes, but I am right.” He would then say, “I don’t care.” I would go back and say, “honey I am sorry. I am sorry I made you feel that way. I am sorry I said that.” Then I would make an attempt to understand why she thought the way she thought. A wise pastor taught me that in a covenant relationship when you turn your back on your partner and you take one step away you are practicing divorce. You are practicing divorce until you get so good at it it’s no longer an act. It has become real in its division and death. You might issue a certificate of divorce, but the divorce happened long before. If you ever find yourself turning your back to a covenant relationship and taking a step away, turn around and take a step to return.

Adultery comes because we think relationships are to meet our needs, but relationship allows each of us to be a blessing to another. When two people have this revelation it is supernatural and it works on good days and bad. It works on days when they feel like it and on days when they don’t. The result will be fruit that values relationship.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #honor, #peopleofGod, Relationship | Leave a comment

Honor For Relationship

Greetings,

Today I have arrived in Spain after a great week in Portugal. Bonnie is with me and we enjoyed good friends in Portugal. Now we are with several pastors and leaders for a few days of RIM gathering before I head to Angola, Africa on Friday. I know it will be a great week with God and and one another.

I have been addressing the subject of honor in the community of God. To be an expression of God’s community in the earth we must value who God is. He gives us life, breath, and all things. We must value being loved by Him and loving Him. A community of God is made of members who value God’s will above their own. A culture of honor values God’s presence before knowing His purpose, but also embraces His purpose as a responsibility of inheritance in life. A culture of honor gives value to human life. When we place another human being in a vulnerable position of trust and we seek to take their life we are violating the honor of human life. This is murder. When we look in the mirror we must remember who we are. We are children of God made in the likeness and the image of our Father in heaven. This leads to another value of honor. We must honor relationships.

Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery

Jesus said to the people of God, the Pharisees, that they must value a relationship with God more than their perceived ideas of His laws and commands. Their desire for the law above a willingness to know Him inspired Jesus to call them adulterers. He related their hate for Him to the sin of adultery. Paul revealed that the Old Covenant relationship with the law was only meant to point to the day when men could finally have an intimate relationship with God by grace. To hold on to the Law in a day of grace was to commit the sin of adultery.

There is a relationship that is a model relationship of God and His church. The relationship of a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, is a relationship that God calls one flesh. God is the one who authorized the covenant of marriage. In marriage two individuals become one individual made of two parts with all of the possibilities of failure. The deepest most intimate relationship that exists in all of creation is a relationship connected by spirit, soul, and body. Marriage is a covenant where two different spirits, two different souls, and two different bodies are put together in one relationship that is to be inseparable. When it is embraced for what it is meant to be, it cannot be separated. It is not to be destroyed by the diversity that is found in each partner, but made one in greatness by the joining of the two. Marriage is sanctioned by God as the guarantee of the future. The marriage covenant is dependent upon a revelation of giving, for without a revelation of giving the two cannot become one. There is no room for an attitude of getting. If an attitude of ‘what do I get’ comes into this relationship, the relationship fails. This relationship is God’s means of filling the world with life. Two different things, one male and one female. Two different kinds of spirits. Two different kinds of souls. Two different kinds of bodies. Different than any other creature. Triune in their makeup. Like animals in their natural reality, but like God in spirit reality. They are made spirit-natural – spiritual. They are not like created things, such as animals, that can only become excellent examples of natural beings. They are not like angels, who are only spirit, who can only become excellent examples of spirit beings. These human beings are to be spirit-natural, bringing God’s Spirit to the natural realities of the world. God’s means of doing this is relationship – covenant relationship. When one partner and another partner come together they are fruitful. When one gives and the other gives, something new lives. When one gives and the other takes something dies. When one takes and the other takes, everything dies. When one says, I have come into this relationship for you to meet my needs and the other says, I have come into this relationship for you to meet my needs; that self-gratifying agenda of each causes death to prevail to the destruction of the covenant. When each individual lives for their own gratification, something is going to die. After a process of time in taking, taking, and taking, an individual will discover that this kind of desire can never be satisfied. They will begin to look elsewhere to get their needs met. When someone embraces a pattern of seeking a relationship to meet their own needs, they are entertaining adultery. This is a perversion of true relationship. True relationship is not about what one gets, it is about what one gives to another. A giving relationship is dependent upon God’s miraculous love.

We have a need for relationship, not so our needs will be met. We have a need for relationship because we were born to meet the needs of others. When God joins us in a covenant love we become empowered to be a blessing, to give greater value to another, to bear fruit that is beyond what we are today, and to be a blessing to the world around us. The foundation for true relationship is self-gratification. It is a world-impacting, world-changing power of life! A culture of honor doesn’t commit adultery because a culture of honor understands the value of relationship.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #honor, #newcovenant, 2016 | Leave a comment

An Honor For Human Life

Greetings,

Today I am headed for Portugal after a great week at home with my family and friends. It was a great weekend with the joining of Jonathan and Alyssa Smith in marriage and then a great Sunday hearing my friend Andrew Shearman sharing the treasures of his heart. The community of home and the community of family was good!

A culture of honor is a revelation of values. Honor is a recognition of who someone is and a giving of attitude and action that acknowledges your recognition of who they are. A culture of honor exhibits an attitude and an acknowledgment to the value of who God is, the value of worship and loving God, the value of God’s will and the testimony of His name, the value of God’s presence resting in our lives, and the value of inheritance – the legacy of our family name. Honoring our father and mother is a valuing of inheritance and honoring that authority is an honor both to God and to man. This is the bridge between loving God and loving others as we love ourselves. Today I want to address another value in a culture of honor. It is the value of human life. This value is expressed in a simple command found in the words of God through Moses.

Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.

This is very simply. This looks like a command, but it is a value. The first act of sin of man toward man was one of murder. Cain was jealous of his brother Able and took his life, thinking that eliminating his brother would make himself more valuable in the earth. There were issues of iniquity in Cain’s heart that led to his act of murdering his brother. Those iniquities blinded Cain from understanding the true value of human life. Cain was not defending life, but seeking to take it for the sake of his own indulgent desires. His actions were the ultimate expression of human selfishness and a cheapening of human value. Honoring the image of ourselves above the likeness and image of God in another human person is a dishonor with grave consequences.

When my mother was pregnant with me she was almost 47 years old. She had problems with diabetes, a heart condition and when complications began to manifest during her pregnancy with me, she was counseled by five doctors that they needed to do something to save her life. This would include taking the baby that was in her womb. This was before abortion was legal in the U.S., but sometimes life-saving measures were necessary. My mom had nine living children and a tenth child before me had died at birth. His name was Joel. When she became pregnant with me she felt that God had given her a gift. She believed that God had given her a child to replace the one she had lost. She told the doctors, “No, this child is a gift from God.” They said if she carried the child she may die, the child would likely die, and if the child were to live it would never be normal. My mom refused to give up that child! She valued the gift of life, even at the risk of her own life! My mom’s honor for life prevailed for herself and her child. My mom did live through that childbirth. I was born early with some challenges in my breathing and I was placed in an incubator to compensate for my need for further development. I remained in that incubator for a month, but I made it and I am now 61 years old and I am very happy that my mother valued my life even to the risk of her own.

I knew that story growing up and I understood something of the value of life. In America, in 1973, there were many debates over whether abortion should be legal or not. In those debates they presented that thousands of women were dying because abortion was not legal. Those reports were greatly exaggerated in order to pass legislation that granted legal right to the deception of abortion in our country. During this time of the debate on the legalization of abortion I was in school. Many teachers love to debate political issues. I had a political science class and my teacher allowed debates in the class in regard to legalizing abortion or not. I was not a Christian. I was just a young man that knew the story of my birth. I went to my teacher and gave him a scenario. “Let’s say there is a woman who is almost 47 years old, diabetic, with a heart condition and five doctors recommend the baby be taken because she is likely to die, the baby is going to likely die, and if by some means the baby survives it will likely never be normal.” His answer to me was, “abortion”. I reached out and took his hand and said, “Congratulations, you just ended my life. That was my mother and that was me.” By the same criteria the life of Beethoven would have been ended. By this measure the life of Helen Keller would have been rejected. By the same criteria the life of a man named Nick Vujicic would have been ended. Nick has no arms and no legs, but he speaks to thousands of teenagers in regard to valuing who they are. His message is that every human life is beautiful and every human life should be loved. By the standards of the world there is something wrong with Nick, but he knows he could never speak to the thousands that he does had he been like everyone else. He knows he has been given a gift to talk to others about the value of life. I know some people who have an extra chromosome in their physical DNA and they are down syndrome. I know them to be loving, caring, and special people with a special grace for life in the human race. Each and every human is a life of great value and each and every human is meant to reveal something of the likeness and image of a heavenly Father.

In John Chapter 9 there is a story of a man who was born blind from birth. Those living in a culture bound to a mindset of law wanted to know who had sinned for the man to be blind. Jesus pointed out that the man was not blind because of anyone’s sin. He was blind for the glory of God. God loved the man just as he was and had come to show him who life really depends upon. The only One Jesus, had come to show the blind man he too was an ‘only one’ to God. I don’t believe that sight was the true miracle in the story, because when Jesus was questioned by the religious for healing the blind man on the Sabbath Jesus said to them, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Those who saw thought judgment was marked by an abnormal life. They reasoned that if there was something wrong with you then someone has obviously done something wrong. But who said that if you are blind there is something wrong with you? Is there a challenge? Absolutely! Can there be more freedom? Absolutely! Does the blind man have skills that those who can see do not have? Absolutely! He sees in a different way. He doesn’t see with his eyes. He probably hears things those with eyes never realize can be heard. He probably senses things that others miss in their everyday surroundings. The blind man, like everyone, was an ‘only one’ and God wanted to reveal to him the value of who he was. God wants each and every human life to depend upon Him so He can show each and every one the true value of who they really are.

The blind man had a revelation of God’s love. He was dependent upon Jesus, because he could now see. His dependence was not birthed from need, but from passion. He knew that without Jesus he would still be blind and He also knew that it was Jesus who showed him how valuable his own life was to God. God had taken the time to find the blind man, because the blind man couldn’t see God to find Him.

Jesus had also come for the Pharisees. He came to destroy their dependence upon the law. He came to destroy what they could see so they would depend upon the one they could not see. He wanted each of them to know that they too were an ‘only one’ to God. Who each of them were was more important than what each one could or could not do.

You shall not murder is a testament to the value of each and every life. A value for life is a part of a culture of honor and each and every one is an ‘only one’ to God. For this reason, God gave His only begotten Son to die as the price of value for each and every child of God! You are not just one in seven billion. You are a one and only one. This is your value and this is the value of your neighbor. It can only be understood in a culture of honor that knows that each and every one has been born to reveal something of the likeness and image of their heavenly Father in this world.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #honor, #newcovenant, #peopleofGod, 2016 | 1 Comment

Honor for the Family Name

Greetings;

I hope you are all well. I have to say that I am very fine. I had an appointment in the forest yesterday and my heavenly Father blessed me with a beast! I reaped a nice 5×5 elk bull with my black powder gun yesterday and it looks like good eats for the next year. No more beef for me! May Dad gave me a beast of all that He owns! (Ps. 50:10).

Honor your father and mother that your days may be long. Whose days? Honor for your father and your mother is an honor for the testimony, authority, inheritance, and destiny of your family name. This would be true for those who have good parents who understand these things and it would also true for those who have abusive parents, absent parents, or apathetic parents. Knowing who we are is not dependent upon a former generation knowing who they were, but knowing who we are will empower successive generations to become all that they should be.

The days of your family name are meant to be long in the earth. They are meant to bring about changes for life and an influence of life to the perpetual generations of your family name. The days of your father, mother, brother, sisters, and you are meant to bring an increasing influence of life in the earth. This would even be true for a Christ-life community birthed by God in the earth. There are few churches that understand this honor. I believe that the church I am part of and used to pastor is growing in this understanding, but even what I did as a pastor was the result of what someone else did before me.

By the grace of God, I am discovering what it means to honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the earth. In the church I pioneered I chose to honor those who were before me. This included those I knew and those I did not know before my time. He told me that I was not His first choice, I was not His second choice, I was not His third choice, I was not His fourth choice ­– I was His first choice. This implied that I was number five, or perhaps simply in the place of grace for what is now, since five is a prophetic symbolism for grace. There could have been a hundred before me, but God was now appointing me to be a householder of the family name. When God spoke to me in regard to my journey of inheritance He implied that there were many before me, but that I was now the householder He was calling upon to be scribe in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 13:52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

God gave me something that belongs to our family. Inherence is given to us and it must be received with a vision and focus of expanding its influence in the earth. It is not given to us to spend upon ourselves. Inheritance is given to change the world. Inheritance is not given to pay our bills. Inheritance is given to create a world where there is no debt. Inheritance includes a family authority, a family anointing, a family inheritance, and a family will. Our food is to do the will of God in the earth. Our food is what we feed upon and what feeds us to be strong in the fullness of life. Our food is to do the will of God in the earth as a part of a family inheritance for the Father’s glory.

We get to walk this out in the community culture of Christ. It is bigger than any single church or ministry. It is bigger than any individual family. It has to do with the families of the world. It is a family filled with beliefs and valuable things that inspire actions that empower imaginations that result in global influences. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. We wrestle against influences, powers of expanding imaginations, and illegitimate actions that are rooted in beliefs that are the seat and authority to propagate those illegitimate forces of evil. Illegitimate beliefs inspire rulers, actions, and controllers that seek to expand upon those illegitimate beliefs of death. The illegitimate beliefs in the hearts of men create a stronghold of wickedness in heavenly places. Illegitimate beliefs are based upon lies and deceptions in the hearts and minds of men. Those beliefs create family cultures, tribal cultures, and national cultures that resist the true culture of the kingdom of heaven.

All cultures of the world are based upon lies and deceptions, but all are meant to be expressions of one family inheritance. All of humanity is meant to walk in a family anointing and authority that is different than the way humanity naturally thinks. We must embrace the culture of the kingdom of God and allow the culture of the kingdom of God to change the way we are as families in the earth. The substance of our inheritance comes from the kingdom of God.

I have an inheritance in the area of family, marriage, relationships, and new covenant life and grace. It is based upon the word and Spirit that has changed what I believed before to what I believe today. You can only receive the inheritance of a family if you honor that family and its inheritance. The churches I work with get different measures of who I am. Each church only receives what they recognize I have as a God inheritance. To the degree they recognize it, they can receive it. To the degree that they don’t recognize what it is that I carry of inheritance, they don’t receive it. This is how it is in a family name.

When God sends us leaders he sends them to help us change our beliefs because God wants to give us an inheritance. We don’t war against principalities to pull them down, we must raise up stronger influences by demolishing the place of their standing with a stronger hold for new standing. We must become an expression of the family of God in a way of inheritance. The beliefs or our hearts must change, the actions or our lives will then change, then the imaginations of our hearts will change and our influence will manifest to bring changes in the earth.

Wherever there is a manifestation of the body of Christ there is a destruction of the bodies of the enemy. If you want the devil to leave your city, focus on the body of Christ. If you want to get rid of the things that are wrong in your city, focus on the body of Christ. Focus on the family of God. Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long in the earth. We must become a generational manifestation of the family name.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #honor, #peopleofGod, 2016 | Leave a comment

Honor Your Father and Mother

Greetings;

Today I am headed home after a great conference and ministry time in Porto Rico. Thank you to all of my friends here for being hungry for what God wants. I pray that God will guide you all to the now expressions of life in Christ’s kingdom. Let the body of Christ rise up in this land!

So far I have addressed four values found in a culture of honor as revealed in Exodus chapter 20. Our honor is first to God, for He is the One who brings salvation and the liberty of life in every day and in every way. Secondly, as the likeness and the image of God our Father, we have a need to worship Him. We don’t worship Him to get His blessing. We worship Him to be like Him. When we worship Him it changes our world. Thirdly, we are a family of purpose in this world. We bear God’s family name and we must never take His name in vain. We honor His character, nature, way, power, and authority in all that we are and do. Fourthly, we are a place where God rests in this world. Every aspect and every season of our lives begins with God’s presence in and with us. It is from a relationship with God that we face the challenges of our lives. We find our identity in Him, thus we can give identity to all that we touch in this world. Now we come to a fifth characteristic of a culture of honor.

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

Of the ten values of honor in these commandments, this is a very unique one. It is number five and it is a bridge between two testimonies. Jesus said that the Law could be summed up in two commandments. The first was to love God with all your heart, soul and strength and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. These ten things that are revealed in these commandments can be said in two statements. Love God with all your spirit, soul and life and in the same way love your neighbor as you love yourself. This fifth value of honoring our father and our mother is a bridge between loving God and loving people. This is the bridge to know the value of who we are and the value of knowing the value of one another. It has to do with the family name.

A family begins when a father and mother come together and the fruit of their love produces a baby. That baby grows up and becomes an adult who finds another adult, they marry and become one and have a baby. The same pattern repeats over and over again and there is an expansion of families in the earth. This is the reason a man leaves his father and mother. But in each generation the family name increases. That family name includes a family testimony, a family authority, a family inheritance, and a family purpose.

When something comes into the earth at a third and fourth generation it becomes an influence that establishes a permanence and an expansion of certain values. The world is smarter at this than the church. I have found that very often the church doesn’t live for a third and fourth generation, but the world does. In the world there are even strategies of control and manipulation behind the scenes to produce a change in the culture of the people in a third and fourth generation pattern. I am not advocating for a strategy of control or manipulation to be embraced by the church, but I am presenting that there is need to embrace the inheritance of family that has the power to transform the influences of the world.

The parabolic story of the father and the prodigal son is not a story about a prodigal son. It is the story of a dad and two boys. It is a story about a family, a family name, and a family business. In the story the father in the family knows who he is. He knows the value and the purpose of the family name. He knows his purpose and his destiny in the earth. He knows the possibilities and realities of the future, but who he is and his influence in the earth requires a revelation in the hearts and minds of his sons. He cannot impose his inheritance upon his sons. He can only invite them to desire it and to receive it, because inheritance is given to those who receive it. It cannot be taken and it cannot be given against someone’s will. If it is taken the purpose of the inheritance fails and something less than destiny transpires. Without an honor of father and mother the testimony, authority, inheritance, and destined legacy of the family name falls dead into the soil of today. The destiny of inheritance can only be expanded in the earth when its value is recognized and honored by the successive generations.

In the story of this dad and two sons, the youngest son came to the age of inheritance and he didn’t understand honor for the family inheritance. He didn’t know who he was. This was likely because the other four things I have addressed where lacking in his life. The younger son has come to the age where he can be given a share in the family inheritance and he asks his father for his portion. The problem is, the son doesn’t know what to do with it. He doesn’t know the purpose of the inheritance. The father knows, but he agrees to give the son’s portion of inheritance to him. The son then leaves home and he squanders his portion on crazy living. He loses it all and he has to get a job. He finds himself in a position of doing the unthinkable for a young Jewish man. He has lost his family pride and has now become willing to obtain a job feeding pigs. He finds himself in a situation where the pigs serves are eating more food than him and he even thinks that the pigs are eating better than himself. He remembers that on his dad’s farm the workers were treated better than the way he was being treated. He reasons in his mind that he will go back to his dad and beg for a job. He no longer believes that he has a right to be a son to his father and he just simply wants to get a job working for his dad as a servant.

Back home the father is still the father and the family name is still the family name with all the destiny of the family. The younger son doesn’t know it, but every day the father has been at the edge of the road looking to see if his son is coming home. The father doesn’t know if his son is a success or a failure. He doesn’t know if he’s gotten married or if he is still single. He doesn’t know if he has a successful business or if he is in poverty. He doesn’t know if he has children or no children. He doesn’t know if he is straight or gay. In all of this, the father doesn’t care. The family name is still the family name. Not once has he thought that his son is not his son anymore. The father was just waiting for his son to come home. One day he sees his son afar off and he runs to embrace him. When he reaches him he kisses him and hugs him with great love. He didn’t ask him any questions about what he had done, he didn’t care. He just wanted his son home in the family business. By the time he reached the son he could probably smell him, but it didn’t matter if he smelled like pigs or expensive cologne. The son may have forgotten who he was, but the father had not forgotten who they were as a family. Upon embracing his son, the father orders his servants to bring the young man the father’s robe and put it on him. He told them to get his ring and put it upon the young man’s finger. He told them to get his sandals and put them on his son’s feet. He then instructed them to kill the cow they had been fattening for the feast and make a great feast. The father wanted the son to wear his anointing and testimony. He wanted him to bear the authority of the father’s name. He wanted him to walk in the father’s inheritance. The father wanted the son to eat the family’s best food – to be and do the will of the family in the earth. The father wanted the son to be a part of a family name that was to be long in the earth.

The older son heard the noise. He asked the servants what was going on. The servants said, You haven’t heard? Your brother who was missing has come home. Your dad has ordered we kill the fatted calf and celebrate! The older son likely thought, Dad is killing the cow that I have been feeding! He is giving the cow I have been waiting to eat to my unfaithful brother! I have cleaned its stalls of manure. I have been feeding it in preparation for the feast and now my dad is killing it and giving it to my brother. He goes to the father and expresses his frustration. I have done everything you required of me! I did everything you expected of me! I have been to church every Sunday and when there were special meetings I went to those as well! I have given tithes and offerings! I went to leadership training classes on Friday’s and Saturdays when others were going to parties and having fun! I went to morning prayer meetings. I did everything that was required in this family culture!

The father said, what are you talking about. It is not about any of those things. You could have this anytime you want. Do you know who we are son? We are the family of God and we are the source of an inheritance of life for the whole world!

In this story the father wanted both the younger and the older son to be part of his purpose in life. He wanted both of the sons to know the testimony, the authority, the inheritance and the purposed destiny of the father’s kingdom. The father’s testimony, authority, and inheritance were enough to celebrate every day with him if they desired. All they had to do was to honor the family inheritance for their days to be long in the earth.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

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